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The painful task of editing the works of the late Bishop of Calcutta having devolved upon his widow, she is anxious to state, that her principal object in publishing the following Journal is, that its readers may be made acquainted with the nature and extent of the duties performed by the Bishop during the short time he presided over the Indian Church, as well as with the difficulties he encountered in the visitation of his extensive diocese.
Although written in the shape of a diary, the greater part of the work formed his correspondence with the Editor, a fact which she hopes will be borne in mind, should some consider that he has dwelt less upon the professional objects of his journey than might have been anticipated. The Letters to his friends in England, from which extracts are given, together with the sacrifice of his dearest affections which he was so frequently called upon to make, sufficiently prove that he never lost sight of his high calling, nor suffered any circumstance to interfere with the object for which he left his native land.
In the unreserved confidence of such communications, it will be supposed that there was much of a nature uninteresting to the public eye, and that omissions were consequently necessary. Had it pleased God to spare the Bishop's life, it was his intention, after revisiting the same countries, to publish, corrected by
further experience, an account of his travels from the notes, in which light only he considered the work now offered to the world. If the Editor has retained too many proofs of her husband's attachment to her and love for his children, or too many traits of that kindness of heart for which he was so eminent, some allowance should be made for the feelings of one whose pride it now is, as it was her happiness, to have possessed the undivided affections of that heart whose qualities she so well knew and so fondly valued.
During a residence of five weeks in Ceylon, the Bishop had not leisure to continue the account of his first Visitation, which concluded in that beautiful country; but as it was a part of his diocese which, in many points of view, particularly interested him, he intended writing at some future period his recollections of the island, aided by the Editor's journal, which for that purpose was written more in detail. She has endeavoured to supply, in some degree, the deficiency, by inserting a few pages in the second volume.
Having thus explained the circumstances under which the work was written, and her motives for its publication, the Editor begs to be allowed to express her gratitude for the great and invariable kindness received by her husband and herself during their residence in India. For the active furtherance of his views in the promotion of Christianity, for the deference paid to his wishes, for the hospitality, friendship, and respect which he met with from his Clergy, and from all the military and civil servants of the Company, in whatever part of the country his Visitations led him, as well as from the King's Government in Ceylon, she can now but offer her own heartfelt thanks. That the Bishop highly appreciated the reception which he experienced, may be generally inferred from his journal; but the Editor is convinced that the following extract from a private letter will be peculiarly gratifying to the members of Government in Calcutta, to whom, especially to Mr. Lushington, the Secretary for the Ecclesiastical
vii department, he always considered himself as under much obligation: “ The members of Government have done every thing for me which I myself wished for, and which was in their power to do; and Mr. Lushington has just now been exerting himself in Council to carry a point for me of great consequence.” Nothing can be fuller or more considerate than the Letters which have been sent to the different commissariat and military officers to attend to all my wants in their respective departments.”
The liberality of the honourable the Court of Directors, in providing the Bishop with a house, and making him an additional allowance for the expenses of his Visitation, was duly estimated by himself, and is now acknowledged with thankfulness by his widow.
The Editor trusts she may be forgiven for intruding any mention of her own feelings; but she would find it difficult at this moment to refrain from expressing her deep and grateful sense of the respect and affection shown to her husband's memory by all ranks, all professions, and all classes of British in India; and were it possible that these sentiments could receive a stronger colouring, it would be from the knowledge that the natives of that country participated largely in such feelings; that sincerely as he is regretted by his own countrymen, he is no less so by those for whose eternal welfare he sacrificed his life. From these sources the bitter agonies of his widow's grief received all the alleviation of which such sorrow is susceptible: and though time may soften the poignancy of her loss, her gratitude can never be effaced; and fervent and lasting will be her wishes for the welfare of those whom she has left behind, and to whose personal kindness she was so deeply indebted in the hour of her affliction.
To the right honourable Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, the right honourable Robert John Wilmot Horton, and those other friends who have contributed so much to the interest of the work by allowing the Editor
viji to publish the Bishop's private Letters addressed to them, she returns her grateful thanks.
For the invaluable and kind assistance afforded her by Sir Robert Harry Inglis in the publication of the work, her warmest acknowledgments are due, and she feels sincere pleasure in thus publicly recording her sense of the obligation she is under to one of her husband's truest friends.
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